Today’s Headlines for Thursday, April 23

  • After Proposing Transit Cuts, Rauner Will Hit the Road to Promote Highway Construction (Pantagraph)
  • IL House Approves Measure to Ban Red Light Cams in Communities Not Under Home Rule (Tribune)
  • Metra Board Approves Contracts for High-Tech Safety System, Strategic Planning (Tribune)
  • Opening of Metra’s New Edgewater Stop Pushed Back to 2017 (DNA)
  • Will County Seeking Input on Will Connects 2040 Transportation Plan (Active Trans)
  • Suspect in CTA Sexual Assault Turns Himself in After Seeing His Photo in the Media (Tribune)
  • 2 Chicago Police Squad Cars Struck During Traffic Dispute (Sun-Times)
  • Keating Comes Out Against Removal of Kinzie Protected Bike Lanes
  • Jacobsen’s Divvy Data Challenge Entry Confirms Bike-Share Is Usually Faster Than CTA (Chicago)
  • MPC Hosts “Broke, Broken and Out of Time” Infrastructure Symposium May 13

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  • Pat

    John,

    Not sure who to reach out to about this, but something needs to be said:

    With the closure of Congress for the NFL Draft until May 8th, which is a bit much in my book, why has CDOT continued to allow the Riverwalk workers to park on Lower Wacker, making it 1 lane going West? It just seems wasteful of peoples time and gas. CDOT told me to call 311, 311 told me to call CDOT.

  • R.A. Stewart

    Re: “After Proposing Transit Cuts,” the Pantagraph article doesn’t completely clarify how much Rauner is talking about new construction and how much about repair to existing roads and bridges, many of which are in appalling shape. But I won’t be surprised if he ends up standing with the “new roads all the time” crowd. And regardless of what DOT Secretary Blankenhorn says about our “world-class system of roads, transit systems, airports and railroads.” you’re not serious about rebuilding the even more deteriorated transit and rail network if reducing state transit and Amtrak funding by half is among the first proposals out of the governor’s office.

  • Roland Solinski

    Operating funds and capital funds are different. Capital funds generally come out of multi-year capital campaigns, which involve new borrowing and often new revenue sources to borrow against.

    The operating fund cuts are specific to the FY2016 budget and are intended to close a deficit for that year alone.

  • Roland Solinski

    When you get down to it, I do not believe Rauner would have chosen Blankenhorn to lead IDOT if he was interested in a roads-only approach. Instead, he would have done what most executives do, and appointed a loyalist.

    I also do not believe Rauner would have cast the doubt on the Illiana that he has unless he was skeptical of wasteful highway projects. Gabe Klein he is not, but I believe we’ll see the same commitment towards transit rebuilding (Red Line North) that he has shown toward roads and bridges. It’s admittedly early, but what highway boondoggle has Rauner supported thus far?

  • R.A. Stewart

    I did take Blankenhorn’s appointment as a hopeful early sign, and it is true that at least he has not embraced the Illiana yet. So you could well be right. I certainly hope so.

  • R.A. Stewart

    A useful clarification, thanks. I remain skeptical that operating funds for transit would be restored after FY 2016, though.